Someone else’s tumblr

Well didn’t I pick the perfect brand for my blog?

(Hint: sarcasm stirred with a dash of self-defeat and a weird smell, probably cheese coming off my beard.)

I chose Desmond, Write to be a call-to-the-craft, a personal reminder to “write already” or “go blog you dumb fart.” It helped that my slogan rhymed with my name: “Where Desmond White goes to Write.”

The problem? I’m not the only one to use desmondwrite.

Turns out, someone else has. Had? Did. Because today I found this on tumblr. Don’t want to click a mysterious link? Here’s a screenshot:desmondwritetumblrDiscovering my double has been an unsettling experience, a William Wilson of sorts, especially since this double is dedicated to a fandom I’ve evaded like ebola (averted like avian flu? bypassed like bronchitis? dodged like diphtheria? sidestepped like syphilis?). Which means for three years anyone curious as to whether I had a tumblr probably thought this was mine—this, a blog that begins its introduction with “Hello everypony.” If they were confused, if they thought I was joshing, they could check the bio where stands a blue pony in-miniature, a nag who’s probably named Crystalwit or Dusky Snufflebuns Jr.

Well. At least this writer has a better articulated demographic than my blog of blah, specifically that multitude of My Little Pony fans who enjoy a good read. The site is clear about its intention to “entertain everypony” but unclear as to how—whatever the blogger intended was going to “involve literature,” maybe even “random things. Unfortunately, the site skimps the content so we’ll never know. But what the tumblr lacks in prose, what it lacks in promise, it makes up for in permanence, because the thing has been sitting webside since 2015 without anything but an introduction—and yet it persists.

So. Just to be clear. There’s no affiliation between us. My site has been up longer than this guy’s. But who cares? I don’t want bad blood (sparkles?) between us. Des, good luck, bro(ny). After all, as the subtitle of a popular horse-related franchise goes, friendship is magic.

Published—”Like Flies, Like Lights”

This isn’t my publication, but my wife’s. “Life Flies, Like Lights,” which published in Nowhere.Ink, is a dreamy spelunk into a maze of madness or what might be the halls of the dead. I have no idea, actually, but it’s still freaky, especially the line “All around me are sounds like suppressed laughter in mausoleums, like bouts of applause, like flies on a cat corpse in summer.”

Anyway, I’m so proud of J. Motoki and the products of her horrifying brain.

Nowhere.Ink is a digital collaborative devoted to dark minds and cooperation over competition. Its members have several outlets. Polished pieces go in their Library (like my wife’s) while anyone can post prose or poetry to the Facebook page. Then there’s other worlds like Twitter and their Red Light District.

Actually, my wife and I have a little history with the collab. We, along with its creators, used to post to a literature platform called Prose.

That site went south, forgetting its manners and indulging in toxic utilitarianism. Lost were Partners and $100 weekly contests; found were advertisements, random rules, and Prose Gold, a pay-to-be-a-partner subscription service. Suddenly good writing wasn’t based on its popularity but how much you could pay.

There was also a (now-infamous) Simon and Schuster challenge where fifty stories were picked from 500+ entries and submitted to S&S for review. Some of the entries “selected” were written by the Prose judges themselves, a little bit of unethical behavior that did not go unnoticed. (My piece, Iron Abbie, was also chosen, and I add that only to establish that I’m not bitter for losing.)

The first generation who’d given Prose its style split away. Luckily, Tony Cavanagh and Amanda Cary, two brilliant contributors to Prose, gave some direction to the Great Migration. They created an alternate platform, a place devoted to the exercise and excitement of writing. Funny enough, the “nowhere” in Nowhere.Ink comes from Tony’s old Prose handle—Miles Nowhere.

Fiction—”Duck Marston”

[A literary quickie for Valentine’s Day.]

Duck Marston ran home and kissed his wife and patted his daughter’s head and asked them both: “Be Mine?” It was Valentine’s, that nasty holiday of love making, and despite all the chocolates and flowers Duck had brought, his women gave him little attention. The wife turned away so he kissed her by the ear, almost inhaling an orange ball of wax. His daughter took his pats like a surly dog and bit three of his fingers. The chocolates they threw away—“We’re dieting, remember?” The flowers went in compost. The girls were too disgusted by this desperate mewling man to explain that flowers were just twenty dollars to watch something die, and they already had front row seats—free of charge—to his life.

[Click here for “A Few Valentine’s Day Literary Cards.”]

[Click here for “everything you need to know about my love life in haiku.”]

Desmond, Write

I’d like Desmond, Write to be an exercise machine for working out my writing muscles. Through endless reps, I want to build up my grills, err, skills, and see more definition and tone. Naturally, to stay flexible, I’ll be stretching through sketching and keeping my brain healthy with a well-balanced literary diet. When I feel the burn, I hope it won’t be from throwing my manuscript into a flaming barrel, but the heat rising from my smoking hot body of work.

Nonfiction—”Honest Seafood”

My sister will not eat seafood. She is a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl, all inherited from my mother, and she is picky, an inheritance from no one. Or perhaps a suspicious ancestor—maybe the caveman who ate the poisoned mushroom?

We (the boys) are wide, sandy, blue-eyed beasts. We’ll eat anything, be it a bagel or small dog. It’s that cavalier attitude Mom rewarded with meals that stretched the definition of food. She was not the best cook, and sometimes pizza would be recast as “lumps,” or toast as “carcinogens with a side of yeast.” Nor was she the most honest about ingredients. She wanted us to eat, after all.

So, Sis found herself in a constant state of seafood consumption. She’d eat tacos and realize afterward: “These were fish tacos!” She’d eat red beans and rice to discover soggy shrimp.

My poor sister. She’s had more sushi than a sushi chef.

Nonfiction—”Snakes and Spiders”

When I wake, the cats are at the door – they want to slip into bed and lie in my warm vacancy. One is black with a teacup on her chest, the other gray as elephant’s breath with muted stripes. In the darkness, I fumble against their fur, locating rump, scruff, finally head, and I pet what I can find until they roll over and expose their tummies – a trap. Under the bluing shade of early morning they are furry dead spiders.

Cats aren’t the only parasite squirming in the bedwaters – my wife, snorting like the Union Pacific, snakes her cold fingers and toes toward me, seeking flickers of heat like sausages over a campfire.

Shower. Toothpaste. Size 40 pants instead of last year’s 38. An XLT button-down that’s starting to hug. The cats follow me to the living room as I pick up a satchel and keys. Jenny lets me pet her back – she has a funny habit of bursting forward when my hand reaches her tail, to circle around for another run. Remy sits on the couch, feet tucked under his chest like a chicken in a coop. I think of saying goodbye to the snoring pile of hair in the other room, but my wife doesn’t work until 9. Still, what if I never see her again?

I open the door and step into a world devoid of Julie and Jenny and Remy and the little routines of morning before the light.

 

Crawford Notch Brewery (i.e. Dad, my brother, and myself) brewed a gallon of Elephant Head (a pale ale with fresh ginger root) and a gallon of Wild Ammonoosuc (a raspberry golden ale). Names are derived from the area around Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, where my Dad was born.